RUNNING TIME: 104 minutes
• Digital Copy disk
Cast: Isla Fisher, John Goodman, Hugh Dancy
Director: P.J. Hogan
Based on Sophie Kinsella’s bestselling series, Confessions follows credit-addicted boutique zombie Rebecca (Fisher), a young, fashionable journalist who spends her free time looking for good deals and evading debt collectors. After she loses her job, she finds anonymous success as a blogger for a finance publication. As she sets her sights on a high paying gig at the fashion magazine upstairs, she falls for her money smart boss (Dancy), comes to terms with her addiction to expensive couture, and does her best to hide her crippling debt from her new friends and coworkers. John Goodman, Joan Cusack, and John Lithgow co-star.
Some groupies rooting through THX 1138’s wardrobe
Sadly, the mannequins might be the most unique thing about Confessions of a Shopaholic. It’s marred by a script so generic that it might make Joe Simpson blush. Speaking of Joe, Confessions lifts a joke directly from Blonde Ambition, the abysmal Jessica Simpson vehicle about a dummy making a big splash in the magazine business. While Confessions is much better than that movie, it’s sort of a shame to see Goodman, Cusack, and Lithgow in such a bland film.
Confessions hits every note you’d expect: Rebecca learns lessons about friends, family, and materialism, and experiences the highs of being a popular writer and the lows of being outed as a fraud. Her successful finance blog – “The Girl in the Green Scarf,” as she markets it – might even be a little offensive, because it wins over readers by translating complex finance-speak into fashion language. Money stuff is hard, girls! If I can make it about clothes, we’ll all get it, eventually! Rebecca’s journey begins, unfolds, and ends in exactly the way you’d imagine, which makes Confessions‘ substantial 104 minute running time especially punishing. It’s essentially an amalgam of Ugly Betty, The Devil Wears Prada, and that bad Simpson movie, but it’s two years too late, and only better than one of them.
Goodman sets about getting himself “one of dem mannykin brides.”
It’s not all bad, though. Confessions has a crisp, clean, and polished look, and sounds nice, too. Isla Fisher brings a happy cuteness to an otherwise vapid character, and wrings a few laughs out of a string of flat jokes. The comedy doesn’t push any boundaries, but when it’s occasionally funny, Fisher turns these moments into bright spots. The cast deserves far better than this script. Except for Hugh Dancy, who totally belongs here. As it happens, he’s starring in a dramedy about Aspergers, which will be awkward for the whole internet. Thanks, Hugh!
Trotting out another fashion comedy four years after it would have been fresh, there aren’t too many reasons to seek out Confessions of a Shopaholic.
Bonus Features include a handful of bloopers, a featurette, and the obligatory digital copy. Like I mentioned in the review, Confessions is a handsome film, and the transfer does a decent job in SD. The DD 3/2.1 doesn’t sound too shabby, either.